This is one of the better articles I’ve read recently addressing this question:
Why don’t people make better choices and how can we change that?
Particularly troubling is this paragraph: There’s almost no evidence that personal finance education works.
Why is this and what can we do? I believe the short answer is that it takes an emotional connection between our circumstances and our desired future to motivate change.
In our culture, we try to change behaviors with the assumption that additional education (the smartest way to do something) is always the problem (lack of it) and the answer (more/better education).
The reality is that we all make many decisions everyday that we know aren’t the wisest possible option – what to eat, watch on TV, read, buy, and work on. It becomes a compromise between decision fatigue and convenience, but ultimately defaults to impulse.
Our impulses are an act of the will (or ‘heart’). We must ‘set our hearts’ toward financial freedom BEFORE we start learning the best routes toward that end.